Going solo isn't the end, it's just the beginning! With badges, ratings and competitions to think about now, there's a lot more that gliding has to offer.
Your first solo is an amazing achievement, one which you'll remember forever and not something to be passed over! It opens up so many avenues, with the main one being your "badges".
Following the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) badges is the easiest way to understand the experience levels of a glider pilot. When you first solo, you'll be given the BGA Gliding Certificate with Solo Endorsement. Then, once you've gained some experience, you'll be put forward for your bronze badge and cross country endorsement. This is the level at which you'll qualify for your Glider Pilot License.
Then, once you've had some early cross country experience, you'll move up to the silver badge level. This is recognised internationally, and is where the majority of post solo possibilities open up. Many competitions and ratings require you to have gained your silver badge.
The gold badge is the next level, and shows you have demonstrated significant flying experience and ability.
The "three diamonds" are the ultimate demonstrator of a pilot's skill and expertise. Should you gain all three diamonds, you are widely regarded as an expert glider pilot, and join other pilots in the FAI's "hall of fame" of pilots holding a gold badge with three diamond endorsements.
Cross Country Flying
Oxford Gliding Club members often have extensive experience of flying cross country, and are always more than happy to impart their knowledge.
Flying above famous British landmarks is one of the best ways to see the country, and the sense of achievement is second to none.
With a highly experienced instructor team, a lot of our members have learnt skills which they can apply to vehicle maintenance, DIY projects or are just happy to know.
Some members have moved into aeronautical engineering careers with skills they learn here at OGC.